X Games Aspen 2014 Superpipe recap: Danny Davis proves style trumps spins, Kelly Clark wins her 7th X Games Gold [Gallery]
In an X Games finale that helped restore the soul of contest snowboarding, Danny Davis managed to prove that true style still wins. Year over year, the technicality of tricks being thrown in the halfpipe has risen dramatically, and it seems that the moment a rider lands the latest and greatest — impossible!— combination of flips, twists, and rotations, it’s already old news. In the aggressive pursuit of progression, many feel that technique and style are being lost in favor of physics-defying combinations.
Sunday night, however, the focus was on Danny Davis and the signature style he has infused in his tricks, and though his winning run was less technical than those we have become accustomed to seeing, it was infinitely more polished. With his second run, Danny Davis dropped a back 3 into a high and mighty switch method, which, in all its simplicity, trumped the competition and earned Davis his first X Games Gold.
Louie Vito, who has had a rougher Road to Sochi than expected, finally took a spot on the podium, which has remained elusive to him this season. After fumbling his first run, Vito took Silver with his second, linking together a picture perfect run and taking a 93.00. Greg Bretz, who has hardly been a stranger to the podium the past few weeks — he beat Shaun White at The Dew Tour back in early December, and was a lock for Sochi after the second qualifier — hammered it home in his first run through the pipe, stomping an 89.33 that held up throughout the rest of the contest and earned him the bronze.
As far as the ladies are concerned, it was Kelly Clark topping the leader board after Saturday night’s finals. Earning her 12th X Games medal, her fourth consecutive Gold, Clark stomped a smooth 95.00 in her first run, and locked herself in for the win
then and there. Chloe Kim, in her first X Games appearance, went head-to-head with Kaitlyn Farrington and Arielle Gold, who both came into Aspen fresh off of earning their spots on the US Olympic Halfpipe Team.
13-year-old Kim came out swinging, with a super stylish run and a 93.00 to lead the field. Arielle Gold put herself in the game with her 2nd and 3rd runs, keeping it consistent with back-to-back 91.00s, which, though solid scores, weren’t enough to secure her a spot in the top 3. Gold finished out the night in 4th, and can now happily set her sights on Sochi.
Farrington’s first two runs fell in the 80′s, scores that wouldn’t stand up to the 90+ runs that Clark, Kim, and Gold were putting down. For her third and final run, however, Kaitlyn laid out a run that included an air to fakie, a big allie oop 540, back-to-back 720’s, ending with an inverted 720 on her last hit to earn a 94.00 and the Bronze; her 2nd X Games medal.